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  1. #1
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    Create a Data File using Word (2003 SP1)

    We use WordPerfect quite a lot, but some of our users insist on using Word, and occasionally they need to create Data Files for use with Word Mail Merges. As you may or may not know, WordPerfect can create its own data files (saved with a .dat extension) with its own Field Names, based on any text that can be entered. We would like to know how to do the same with Word, as Word 2003 insists on creating an Access Database whenever you create a Data File. This is not always viable as the Names & Addresses are often being copied across from, eg, old letters, database text fields, etc.

    Is there any way that we can paste Names & Addresses into Word and then save it as a Data File? I can see that if the user puts, eg, commas after each Field and Returns after each Record that a .doc can be used as a data file, but Word balks at this if there is any Record with too few or too many blank fields (which obviously can happen if there is, eg, Address 1 AND/OR Address 2).

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. [img]/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Create a Data File using Word (2003 SP1)

    In earlier versions of Word, the default data file was, I believe, a DOC file containing a table. Any reason not to use a table? I suspect it would work at least as well as the comma-separated type.

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    Re: Create a Data File using Word (2003 SP1)

    We could use a Table, but it would mean having to drag every Field from every Record into the correct Column, which would be a pain.

    Thanks for the reply, though. Any other thoughts? [img]/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

  4. #4
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    Re: Create a Data File using Word (2003 SP1)

    Whatever the format of the mail merge data source is, it will have to consist of records and fields, and the structure will have to be consistent.
    If I get data in an inconsistent format, I usually paste them into Excel and use Data | Text to Columns... Hopefully, the majority of records will be handled correctly automatically, and the number of records to be adjusted manually will be limited. In some cases, I paste directly into Word and use Table | Convert | Text to Table...

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    Re: Create a Data File using Word (2003 SP1)

    Hi Hans

    The only problem is that the text coming across from, eg, a letter or database may be already formatted with Paragraph Marks, so it may be easier to just paste it into Excel and then Paste Special using Transpose.

    In WordPerfect, we can just go to the end of (eg) the Address and Insert an EndField Code, then go to the End of the the Salutation and Insert an End Record Code (we have these mapped to F10 & F11 for convenience). The Result looks something like this:

    Mr John Crichton
    Astronaut
    Farscape Enterprises
    1 Moya Street
    Los Angeles
    90210 <font color=red>[ENDFIELD]</font color=red>
    Dear John<font color=red>[ENDRECORD]</font color=red>

    So, it's basically just a Paste, F10, F11 job, which takes 2 seconds per record.

    I think the easiest way to do it is to Transpose the Rows in Excel, so I'll just go with that.

    Thanks, as always, for your help and replies.

    Cheers. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  6. #6
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    Re: Create a Data File using Word (2003 SP1)

    Word can use Excel spreadsheets as mail merge data source too, so that should work.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Create a Data File using Word (2003 SP1)

    I wonder whether the Address Book or Outlook's Contacts form can parse these intelligently? You'd think this would be built in to Office somewhere.....

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